With 2019 around the corner, we want to look back at our journey this year, at the impact that we have managed to create together with our community of startups, mentors and partners. In these infographics, we will highlight some of our milestones after three years of accelerating the edtech ecosystem in Finland and Nordics as well as the first feedback on xEdu-UNTIL Learning Accelerator.
Before we dive into the numbers and memories of this year, let us give you a sneak peek to what awaits us in 2019.
• Save the date: 3rd October 2019 — World's largest edtech hackathon by Aalto University, xEdu & Climate-KIC. Let's solve global challenges in digital education together. More details will follow in 2019.
• Application for our Spring 19 Program will open on the 7th of January! This time, with a guaranteed match with our investor partners which would mean an investment for up to 50.000 EUR for additional equity. The funding will be based on the milestones startups reach during the program. We will also introduce a startup scorecard for investors.
• We are taking our partnership with GEMS Education to the next level. At XcitED 2018, we signed a MoU with GemsX to collaborate on edtech startup solutions which means more pilots for xEdu Alumni in the best private schools in the world in 2019.
• Save the date: 27th November 2019 — XcitED 19.
All the data and graphics used in this article are extracted from the 27-page xEdu Impact Report that we have shared with our partners and stakeholders. Feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to join our mission and become a partner. Social impact is quite a challenging thing to measure, especially when it comes to such a dynamic organisation like startup accelerator. When you read this, please keep in mind that all the startups presented here are in operation. It means that the data and information evolve constantly.
"The Finnish EdTech scene has been on the move in the last couple of years. Previously there was no edtech or innovation ecosystem in place, even though some advanced technical solutions have been developed. In 2015 a few enthusiastic social innovators and business-oriented individuals introduced xEdu." — From the report on development cooperation in the education sector by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, 2018.
From the very start of xEdu's operation, our big mission was to establish the missing EdTech ecosystem in Finland. Three years later, we may boldly say, we are on the right track. Every year, xEdu receives about 200 applications from all over the world from which, nearly 10% of the startups get accepted to the program. So far, xEdu has accelerated 56 education startups from 11 countries. What is significant, only 3 of the accelerated startups are currently in hibernation, while the rest are actively in operation. You can find more numbers below.
2018 In a Nutshell
This year was full of events, great people, success stories and challenges. Our family of xEdu graduates got bigger with 17 new companies from 7 countries. We are extremely proud to support women in tech movement with more than a half of these companies having female Founders or CEOs. 46% of all xEdu Alumni companies have women as founders or executives. And these are not just numbers — this is the power and beauty of our community — in diversity, in equality and understanding.
We design every acceleration program from scratch taking into account a massive amount of feedback we collect from the startup teams and the coaches, plus tailoring the mentoring sessions to the needs of a newly accepted cohort. One of the biggest milestones of 2018 was our first-ever acceleration journey in partnership with UN Technology Innovation Lab.
We asked Arjita Alka Sethi, Co-founder of Equally, one of the four companies accepted to UNTIL-XEDU Learning Accelerator to share her thoughts about this experience.
“Social Impact has always been in the core of our mission as a company. The whole idea of Equally, as you can hear from the name, is to give equal access to education for everyone. Last year, we became semi-finalists of the Global Learning XPRIZE, sponsored by Elon Musk, Google and UNESCO, and that is how we basically started development of our first product. This year, we finally launched it and got accepted to the first program of xEdu-UNTIL Learning Accelerator. It was perfect timing for us and now, with the access to the developing markets, we can build something really impactful and hopefully also profitable,” said Arjita. If you have a similar mission, if you want to make quality education more accessible for everyone, apply for xEdu Acceleration Program in January 2019.
The grand finale of the year was XcitED 2018. This year, the main edtech event of Slush gathered the top innovations, investors and the key players of one industry at the Old Student House in Helsinki. More than 20 top-class speakers from 10 countries unfolded some of the hot topics in education. 50 edtech companies showcased their latest innovations in the demo area. xEdu Fall Cohort demo hour, The Night School Dinner and of course the Afterparty. It was quite an exciting day!
We are proud that in the 15-hour XcitED program there was a special place for Social Impact and Impact Investment in Education. Elin Wallberg from Samsung Nordics opened the Impact hour by sharing Samsung's CSR approach to making positive changes in education. UN Assistant Director-General Fabrizio Hochschild delivered a strong speech encouraging entrepreneurs to tackle global challenges in education to make it more accessible and equal for all. He also pointed out the critical lack of investment in education that the world is facing. The panel of top edtech investors featuring Inka Mero, Luben Pampoulov, Luben Pampoulov and Koji Takahashi also tackled this issue as well as shared their vision on edtech market trends and opportunities.